Abortion Giants, Soros Propel Wendy Davis Run

Wendy Davis struggles to raise a buck in her own backyard

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August 5, 2020

Failed gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is relying heavily on out-of-district donors in her bid to unseat Rep. Chip Roy (R., Texas), hauling in max contributions from the Soros family and big-spending national abortion groups.

Davis has repeatedly touted her "grassroots" campaign, boasting that she'll stack up her donors against Roy's "special interest supporters any day of the week." The Texas Democrat, however, has raised 60 percent of her itemized campaign funds—more than $2.1 million dollars—from outside of the state's 21st Congressional District. Just 46 percent of Roy's campaign cash, meanwhile, comes from outside of the district, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Davis catapulted to prominence in 2013 following an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to filibuster a pro-life bill in the Texas Senate. The national attention has proven lucrative for her campaign—Davis has received at least $13,000 in direct contributions from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY's List, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. She has also received nearly $50,000 in contributions funneled through the abortion giants. All three groups have endorsed Davis.

In addition to her support from national abortion groups, Davis has accepted $5,600—the maximum allowed under federal law—from Jennifer Allan Soros, the wife of liberal billionaire George Soros's son, Jonathan. Davis has also received $5,600 and $2,800, respectively, from billionaires and top Democratic donors Eli Broad and Lynda Resnick.

Davis's national profile has won her endorsements from top liberals, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and former president Barack Obama. Davis is also backed by a slew of top gun-control groups, including Giffords, Brady PAC, and Moms Demand Action. The groups have combined to contribute at least $11,000 to the Texas Democrat's campaign.

While Davis claims to have not taken "a single corporate PAC dollar" and called her campaign "people-powered," she has accepted thousands in contributions from Democratic leadership PACs funded by corporate money. Davis received $10,000 from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D., Calif.) PAC to the Future, which has taken more than $450,000 in corporate-backed cash in the 2020 cycle alone. Davis also received $4,000 from Pelosi's campaign committee.

Davis's big-spending allies have driven her to outraise Roy, with Davis raking in nearly $4.5 million to Roy's $2.6 million. She also benefited from fawning national attention in her failed 2014 run for governor, raising almost $40 million. Davis lost the race to Republican governor Greg Abbott by more than 20 points, the worst showing by a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful in the state since 1998. The historic loss prompted comparisons to failed Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, who raised a whopping $80 million in his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz before losing to the Texas Republican by roughly 200,000 votes.

"Like Beto O'Rourke, Wendy Davis raised tens of millions of dollars and thrilled liberal Democrats in Massachusetts and New York and California," Cruz said in 2018. "But at the end of the day, the platform she was campaigning on was out of step with the people of Texas."

Rice University political scientist Mark Jones ranked Davis the fourth most liberal out of 31 colleagues who served during at least two of her three terms as state senator. She was most famous for her viral, 11-hour-long filibuster of a pro-life bill in 2014, with the pink shoes she wore during the filibuster described by the Toronto Star as "an emblem of what women have to endure in places that hold them in contempt." Davis repeatedly voted against bills requiring an ultrasound before an abortion in 2009 and 2011, and as a Fort Worth City Council member in 2011, she supported restricting firearm sales at gun shows.

The Davis campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Disclosure: The Washington Free Beacon contributed approximately $150 to Wendy Davis in 2016 in exchange for her pink sneakers and various other items Davis was selling at an estate sale.